A coalition of tobacco business has forced a possible referendum on the flavor ban in California during the 2022 election. The reprieve would enable the sale of flavored tobacco and vapor items up until the issue is put to a vote in 2022 if licensed by the California Secretary of State.
The possibility was approved after the California Coalition of Fairness collected over a million signatures to prevent the implementation of the ban, which was supposed to enter into impact this upcoming January. The California Constitution enables any obstacles to an expense to be made 90 days prior to it is enacted.
The Constitution also enables any challenged expense that is put to a referendum to be postponed till that referenda is held, in this case, in 2022.
Table Of Contents
A Take a look at SB 173
Response to the Petition
What Expense SB 793 Means For Vapers
Governor Gavin Newsom signed expense SB 793 this previous summer. The bill was presented by State Senator Jerry Hill (D-San Matteo) in response to both the increase in teenage vaping in addition to the EVALI break out in late 2019. The law sought to prohibit the sale of all flavored tobacco and vape products. It also raised the legal age limitation to purchase tobacco items in the state to 21.
There was an exception made to seasoned hookah items, as well as premium stogies and loose-leaf tobacco. The law took objective only at brick-and-mortar stores, while it left online sales untouched.
Why Big Tobacco Actioned In
The law also took aim at menthol-flavored cigarettes, which is what most likely drew the ire of Big Tobacco. The sale of menthol cigarettes represent a substantial part of general sales for tobacco e-liquid companies and they have invested big on trying to get the restriction overturned. Filings with the state show over $5 million in donations to the California Union of Fairness from tobacco business Philip Morris USA, and RJ Reynolds, together with their various subsidiaries.
According to the LA Times, the union has actually gotten an additional $20 million in contributions from tobacco companies since the union was formed. There is no record of any asmodus vape business or sellers joining the union. Offered the enormous expense of mounting the effort to gather all the signatures and submit the filings to the Secretary of State, only Big Tobacco would have had the resources to mount such a project.
What The Opposition Thinks
Governor Newsom, Sen. Jerry Hill, and a spokeswoman for Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids all released declarations denouncing the move. Guv Newsom stated that “California will continue to fight back and secure kids from Huge Tobacco.” Lindsey Freitas, a director with the CTFK likewise had harsh words for the effort, stating “we’re positive that California voters will reject Huge Tobacco’s desperate effort to keep hooking our kids for an earnings”.
For its part, the California Union for Fairness likewise launched a statement saying, in part, that:
In the midst of an unmatched pandemic, raging wildfires, heatwaves, and power blackouts throughout the state, more than one million Californians signed petitions for the right to have their voice heard on an unfair law that benefits the wealthy and special interests while cutting and costing tasks funding for education and healthcare.
The Coalition likewise sought to fan the flames of a partisan divide by framing the issue in both class and racial terms. It pointed out that the restriction on menthol cigarettes unjustly targets minorities.
Numerous Black lawmakers right away took offense to the Union’s statement. They charged that the tobacco industry has indiscriminately targeted Black and Latino neighborhoods with menthol cigarettes that have disproportionately impacted their health. The Coalition even ran tv ads that accused the government of putting the interests of the wealthy above the Black and Latino working class.
Although the California Coalition for Fairness has sent a petition to stop SB 793, the Secretary of State should still approve the motion. There’s no word on when the Secretary will make their decision, however if they approve the petition, the flavor restriction will be delayed up until 2022, when California voters will decide its fate.
The sale of menthol cigarettes accounts for a big portion of general sales for tobacco companies and they have actually spent huge on trying to get the restriction reversed. Filings with the state program over $5 million in donations to the California Coalition of Fairness from tobacco companies Philip Morris U.S.A., and RJ Reynolds, along with their different subsidiaries.
According to the LA Times, the union has received an additional $20 million in contributions from tobacco business given that the coalition was formed. Given the enormous expense of installing the effort to gather all the signatures and send the filings to the Secretary of State, only Huge Tobacco would have had the resources to install such a project.
Lindsey Freitas, a director with the CTFK also had harsh words for the effort, saying “we’re confident that California voters will decline Huge Tobacco’s desperate effort to keep hooking our kids for a revenue”.